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Five Things She’s Better At or Just as Good At as Me

One of the things I’ve had to adjust to since getting into a relationship is letting go or somewhat deferring things over to my woman. I will be the first to admit, even though I don’t buy into antiquated, dogmatic ideas of gender roles, I do want to be a man for my woman at all times.

But like most men, I have come to realize I have my limits and perhaps the manliest thing I can do is let her handle things when she says she can or is perfectly capable. Here is a short list of awkward moments when I’ve had to let Gina be great.

Reaching for things in high places
At five-feet, eight-and-a-half inches tall, Gina is barely shorter than me. Anyone who knows me knows I’m wild about that. I’ve always liked women who were either barely shorter than me or at my height. I’ve even gone so far as to date women who were a little bit taller than me. Tall girls have always caught my eye, that’s one of the things that attracted me to my girl when I first saw her. She was easily the tallest woman in the room.

But here’s the thing about that: She doesn’t need me to get things on the top shelf. I always seem to forget about this when I’m grocery shopping or something like that with my woman. Just the other day we were out at Fairway market, and we were looking for an item. I think I spotted it on the top shelf, and before I even put the basket down, Gina’s on her tippy toes and reaches the item with ease. I shook it off, but I’ll admit, at first, I felt like Brandon Knight.

At times, she can be funnier than me

Something I used to hear a lot is how funny women can never get the guy. I don’t know if I necessarily believe that, but I do like the idea of bringing the funny to the relationships. Does it make me uncomfortable if my woman comes up with a good joke before I do? Not necessarily, but I’ll admit to a tad bit of jealousy that I didn’t think of whatever wise crack she came up with on the fly. For instance:

A group of friends and I were, for whatever reason, talking about the OJ Simpson case. One of my friends said he thinks OJ’s son did it, because OJ’s son was bigger and more athletic than his Heisman trophy winning father, therefore he had the ability to kill two people. The whole room was laughing and destroying any sense he was trying to make about his theory. Gina, perhaps not wanting to be the center of attention, leaned over in my ear and said, “How is he bigger, but has smaller hands?” a reference to the original closing statements made by OJ Simpson’s defense team, that the glove belonging to the murderer was too small to fit OJ. I understand that for most of you reading this, this might not be as funny as it was to me when she pointed it out, nor as funny to the entire room when I repeated the joke. But it killed. I made sure to attribute that joke to her because it’s only fair, but damn, I wish I would have come up with it on my own.

Stay up later than me
My saving grace for not being a night owl is being a morning person. I’m up before the sun usually, so I think my ability to not stay up past midnight is given a pass. But there is some pressure I sometimes feel to fight the good fight and stay up late with her; it’s a fight I have lost more than one. This is made all the more worse when she unintentionally makes me feel like a baby if I fall asleep on the couch with her while we’re watching something on television. This is what she says:

“Baby, go on to bed.”

First of all, I’m on my couch. I don’t need to go to bed. I sleep where I want. Second of all, why do I have to go to bed? Does my sleep disturb her that much? Why can’t she just finish watching this episode of “True Detective” while I sleep. Next thing I know, she’s going to tell me to make sure I brush my teeth and have a footie pajama set laid out for me. Ladies, if your man falls asleep somewhere outside of the bedroom, don’t wake him up and tell him to go to bed. Let him sleep there. Hell, if you’re really down for him, sleep there with him. Then wake up in the morning and say how the hell did this shit happen?

Drink more than me
Speaking of being drunk in love: Some of you long time readers may recall a list I once wrote about more modern forms of chivalry. On that list, I wrote about how a man should never let a woman drink alone, but he especially should never get more faded than her. This is what I wrote:

I never get more inebriated than her. As her protector, it’s important for me to be in control of the situation at all times. Besides, I have worked in plenty of restaurants where a man gets more wet than his date, and ends up slumped over her should and it’s never a good look. As a matter of fact, it’s how his more sober woman gets talked up by the bartender.

Gina hasn’t had to carry me into her apartment or mine for that matter (I haven’t had to do the same for her either, by the way). But early in our relationship, I recall having to take an extra long shower to sober up because I felt myself about to hurl from a night we had at a Hennessy open bar party. That’s what I get for trying to keep up with her. I have since learned my lesson. At some point, usually before her, I have to cut myself off.

Drive a stick shift
It was our third date when I found out Gina drives a stick shift. She was picking me up that night because she brought her car into the city for the weekend. I had the intention of driving her once she picked me up, until I saw her right hand sitting on the stick shift. I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach.

I am fine with deferring to my woman over certain things and tasks if she’s better than me at execution, but driving isn’t one of them. A friend of mine told me a years ago that a person doesn’t really know how to drive if they can’t drive stick shift. I thought they were being a pompous ass who didn’t realize that by 2014 all stick shift cars outside of big rig trucks were going to be without stick shifts.

Well, it’s 2014 and apparently people like my girl still own cars with stick shifts. Now I have to learn, and humble myself to letting her teach me. This isn’t some humiliating thing to subject myself to as much as it is necessary. I truly believe, in a non-controlling, non-patriarchal way, a man should handle the driving duties if riding with a woman. To me, it’s akin to carrying the grocery bags for her. Driving is work, plain and simple, and if I can do work instead of her, I gladly will.

But the other reason I now must learn how to drive stick is I want to be just as capable as she is of getting in that car should we need to for any emergency situation. I’m sure she would like me to have the skill set as well. Well, that, and being able to get through one movie without falling asleep on her.

I get a little anxiety when I discover my woman can do something I can’t or in some cases, something perfectly fine without me. I believe that’s only natural. As men, we want to be the guy who can do it all, and whatever we can’t do, we want to learn how to do it. However, there is comfort in knowing I am with someone who has skills I don’t; that if ever I am injured and can’t really reach the top shelf to get my favorite cereal, I have a woman who can.

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  • A Word or Three

    Ha! I like that you’re embracing humility and you’re willing to talk about her superiority in certain situations.

    It seems like most successful marriages include a husband that can recognize where they need to bow out and let the wife do her thing. I hear it all the time from seasoned, happiily married men: “Oh I let my wife handle that… Thanks for the compliment, my wife picked it out…”

    A good omen!